FANTASTIC BEASTS – THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD: Tim Burke & Christian Manz – Overall VFX Supervisors

IN THE PRESS | Art of VFX | December 3rd, 2018 | Read More

Which sequence or shot was the most complicated to create and why?
Tim Burke // The end sequence in the cemetery was the most complicated because of all of the very complex fire simulations, which had to be constantly modified based on the action within the shots. Trying to get a consistent look for the fire creatures was challenging because of this.

Christian Manz // For me there were two – the Grindelwald escape I mentioned earlier and the Nagini transformation.

The former was complicated due the huge amount of elements that had to be shot based on our previs. I worked with David, 2nd Unit Director Stephen Woolfenden, Stunt Co-ordinator Eunice Huthart, the Art Department, SFX Supervisor David Watkins as well as 2nd Unit VFX Supervisors Rob Duncan and Chris Shaw amongst others to break down the scene shot by shot to work out what we would achieve practically. We didn’t use motion control as we wanted to keep the camera moving as freely as it would if shooting an aerial chase for real. The final shoot involved shooting our actors, fully wet down, blasted with heavy wind performing on and inside carriages mounted on various motion bases. For shots where the carriage fills with water we filmed the actors high speed dry for wet inside a partial interior set piece – we cross polarised the lighting to remove reflections from the their faces and costumes to aid the illusion. Eunice came up with a great new broom riding rig that gave a lot more control to the performer than previous films making the final effect that more believable. Martyn and the Image Engine team did an amazing job combining all of these elements with their CG carriage, high res digital doubles, New York environment and FX rain to create a memorable scene. It was amazing to show David the Grindelwald/Abernathy transformation and him not realise that the characters heads were full CG – great work!

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